• Site Supporter

New to CPAP...are feelings of smothering normal?

This area is for CPAP Mask and CPAP Machine Related Questions used in the treatment of Sleep Apnea.


New to CPAP...are feelings of smothering normal?

Postby fiver » Sat Mar 27, 2010 4:51 pm

Hi all,

I've been prescribed CPAP and have tried using it for the past three nights with very limited success. I've read many posts and understand that it is going to take time to get use to the therapy. I currently have a Responics Comfort Gel nasal mask, and my prescribed pressure is 9.

However, I'm experiencing feelings of smothering when trying to exhale, as if someone has a pillow over my face. After a few minutes of this it begins to feel like I'm being slowly suffocated. It is as if I can't move the air in and out fast enough through my nose. I also noticed a few times when I was just about to drift into sleep, I would stop breathing, which would wake me back up. The nasal mask is the first one I had tried, and I'm wondering if switching to a mouth/nose mask wouldn't help alleviate this feeling. I only ended up with the nasal mask because I used one for my titration study, which the doctor seems to think worked fine.

Any thought or advice would be appreciated?
fiver
 
Posts: 2
Joined: Sat Mar 27, 2010 4:22 pm

Postby Grandma » Sat Mar 27, 2010 5:28 pm

I tried a nasal mask but had problems like you described, feeling like I was smothering both inhaling and exhaling.. I like the full face mask but everybody has different needs so you can't go by what I like. However, when I first started using CPAP with the full face mask I did have a hard time breathing but realized that I was over thinking the whole process and when I could relax and forget about what was happening with the CPAP and stop focusing on my breathing, I got used to things. It did help me to set the ramp for a longer period when I was getting used to it. But now I only ramp for 5 minutes. Lots of people don't need the ramp at all. I think, for some of us, we panic because we don't know what it's supposed to feel like and don't have enough trust in the machine to keep us breathing. It's been suggested that it might help to use your machine while you are awake and reading or watching television so you can learn to relax and trust the machine. Don't give up. It can take some time to adjust, but it's well worth the effort.
Grandma
ResMed Quattro Full Face Mask
Proud and happy owner of a new Resmed S9 Autoset
Pressure range 8 to 20
Grandma
 
Posts: 413
Joined: Sat Sep 22, 2007 12:33 pm
Location: Minnesota

Postby CrohnieToo » Sat Mar 27, 2010 6:01 pm

Are you using the Ramp feature? Does your PAP have the EPR or C-Flex or A-Flex feature? Any one of these might be worth adjusting. The last 3 are forms of pressure relief on exhalation so you don't have to exhale as strongly to be comfortable.
ResScan 3.10 - Resmed S8 ResLink & oximeter
ConTec CMS-50D+ oximeter - Philips EverFlo 5L Oxygen Concentrator
PR SystemOne BPAP Auto w/Bi-Flex & Humidifier - EncorePro 2.2.14.0
User avatar
CrohnieToo
 
Posts: 7943
Joined: Mon Mar 20, 2006 9:18 pm
Location: Mid-Michigan
Machine: Resmed S8 VPAP Auto
Mask: Resmed Quattro FX Small
Humidifier: Resmed H3i
Year Diagnosed: 2006

Thanks!

Postby fiver » Sat Mar 27, 2010 8:45 pm

Thanks for taking the time to reply!

Yes, my machine does have a C flex feature, and I'm using the highest setting currently.
fiver
 
Posts: 2
Joined: Sat Mar 27, 2010 4:22 pm

Postby CrohnieToo » Sat Mar 27, 2010 9:22 pm

So you PAP is a Respironics PAP. Which model? Plus? Pro? Auto?

The Plus is a compliance data only PAP and not much help at indicating any causes of problems. The Pro is a fully data capable PAP and the Auto is a fully data capable auto PAP and their data card can provide efficacy data, i.e. leak, pressure, AHI, AI which can help your provider's RRT and/or your doctor determine where your problem may be. You might need a slight pressure adjustment, you might need a different mask, etc. Give this a week then get back to your provider's RRT, take your data card for a download and printout and describe your problem as clearly as you can and ask for help.
ResScan 3.10 - Resmed S8 ResLink & oximeter
ConTec CMS-50D+ oximeter - Philips EverFlo 5L Oxygen Concentrator
PR SystemOne BPAP Auto w/Bi-Flex & Humidifier - EncorePro 2.2.14.0
User avatar
CrohnieToo
 
Posts: 7943
Joined: Mon Mar 20, 2006 9:18 pm
Location: Mid-Michigan
Machine: Resmed S8 VPAP Auto
Mask: Resmed Quattro FX Small
Humidifier: Resmed H3i
Year Diagnosed: 2006

Postby dlynch » Sun Mar 28, 2010 9:37 pm

Fiver you already have great people helping.

I've used my machine for 10 years. I'm still learning. It was tough at first. Actually my first experience was incredible.

I went home after I got my machine, set it up, and took a nap. Mask was on; machine was on. I fell asleep so quickly--until the phone rang. It was my first good sleep in countless years. I was so spaced out; I had been in a deep, deep sleep.

Lesson I learned?
* I was sleep deprived for a long, long time.
* It was going to take a while to fix
* I was going to have good days, and bad days
* It's worth it, and has made an incredible difference in my life.

But cpap ain't for sissies!

Stay with it! It's worth it! It has improved every element of my life and I'm convinced it has save my life.

All the best

DaveL
Toronto
Regards

DaveL

CPAP--started 1999/still compliant
dlynch
 
Posts: 40
Joined: Tue Apr 15, 2008 9:33 pm
Location: Canada

Postby mcbrian33 » Mon Mar 29, 2010 11:20 am

Fiver,

Which specific machine are you using? Some have multiple pressure relief settings past 1-3.


McBrian33
Retitrated 2/10 to 10cmH2O
Respironics SystemOne, FlexFit 407 \:D/
Wife & I became hoseheads 30 days apart O:)
I also got a "I TOLD YOU SO" nine years in the making. :roll:
User avatar
mcbrian33
 
Posts: 388
Joined: Mon Nov 09, 2009 3:11 pm



  • Site Supporter

  • Similar topics
    Replies
    Views
    Author

Return to CPAP Mask, Machine, & Monitoring Treatment Questions

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 2 guests

  • Site Supporter